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Game 17: Santana vs. Hamels

I'm not sure I've ever seen an April ballgame that wasn't Yankees-Red Sox draw this much hype. There isn't much more to say other than what you've read everywhere else: these are probably the two best lefties in the league, with arguably the two best change-ups in MLB, going head to head for the first time in an increasingly bitter rivalry. The game is a sellout (as is tomorrow's).

One cause for concern from a Phillies perspective is that very few of our hitters have faced The Great Santana before. He made one start against the Phils back in 2002, with Jimmy Rollins and Pat Burrell in the lineup; they went a combined 0 for 4 against him that day. Geoff Jenkins is 3 for 12, Pedro Feliz is 0 for 4, and that's it. Given that Santana's deception and especially that killer change are the keys to his success, that probably doesn't bode well. The Phils need to be patient and work the count against Santana, given that the Mets are coming off a 14-inning win in which virtually their entire bullpen saw action.

For his part, Hamels is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA in four career starts against the Mets. He's had the most trouble with Los Dos Carloses: Beltran is 4-12 with two solo homers and Delgado 4-9 with a homer against Hamels. Jose Reyes is 3-12 with no extra base hits, and David Wright is 1-11 with a HR facing the Phils' ace.